It was a low scoring and at times uninspiring arm wrestle between Fintona and Drumragh but when the final whistle of this Connolly’s of Moy Junior Championship Final sounded all that mattered to the people of Fintona was the result. A one point win on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-12 suggests a low scoring hard fought and at times error strewn game and that just about sums it it.
Both teams took time to settle with wayward passing and poor decision making the order of the day. Chances were spurned but in spite of that Drumragh established a two point lead following Early points scores from Tommy Murphy and Sean Mc Gale. Fintona finally broke their duck when veteran player Eugene Liam Mc Carroll plundered a goal on eleven minutes following hesitancy in the Drumragh defence.
Unfortunately Drumragh suffered a serious blow when they lost ace forward Shane Cleary shortly after. Eoin Montgomery converted a brace of frees to move Drumragh 0-4 to 1-0 ahead but with defences on top Montgomery (1) and Peter Mc Glinn (2) scored to send the sides in at the break level on a score of Fintona 1-2, Drumragh 0-5.
The second half was every bit as cagey the first with little between the sides and scoring opportunities at a premium. Ronan Maguire and Caolan Donnelly swapped points before Eoin Montgomery dropped a free kick short at a time when his Drumragh side was beginning to get on top. Tommy Murphy landed a fine score but shortly after that the Go Power Man of the Match Jared Brogan burst through the Drumragh defence and split the post to tie the scores once more.
With less than five minutes remaining Aaron Mc Carney pointed to put his side ahead before Gareth Haughey levelled the game once more. The sides swapped further points deep into added time courtesy of Mc Carney and Kian Murphy. With time all but up Drumragh were awarded a late free almost fifty metres from the goal to win it. Unfortunately for the Sarsfields the kick sailed wide and the game went to extra time.
Both teams looked tired in extra time with cramping players very much the order of the day. Peter Mc Glinn and Daniel O’Neill added scores for their respective teams but it seemed like a replay was the more likely outcome. However up popped Mc Carney with his fourth point of a tough match to give his side the lead heading into the extra time break.
Within twenty seconds of the restart Drumragh levelled again after a fine run from Ronan Maguire resulted in a free which was converted by Cian Murphy to level the scores once more. Mc Carney and Haughey traded points and with time running out Mc Carney won a free twenty metres from the Drumragh goal which he converted himself to put Fintona one ahead.
The pressure was palpable but Drumragh showed great discipline and cohesion to manufacture one final chance to take the game to a replay. Sadly for them the kick was missed and the Pearses celebrated being Connolly’s of Moy Junior Champions 2023.